Fitch Affirms Protective Life's Commercial Servicer Ratings

NEW YORK--()--Fitch Ratings has affirmed Protective Life Insurance Co.'s (Protective Life) commercial servicer ratings as follows:

--Commercial primary servicer at 'CPS3+';

--Commercial master servicer at 'CMS3';

--Commercial loan level special servicer at 'CLLSS3+'.

The servicer ratings reflect Fitch's assessment of Protective Life's ability to service commercial real estate loans, its experienced and stable management team, and the financial support of its parent. The primary and master servicer ratings also reflect the company's limited experience servicing loans with cash management features and overseeing independent primary servicers, as well as a stronger reliance on manual processes. The rating also considers Protective Life's reliance on correspondents for subservicing, which Fitch believes is appropriate for the company's current life company focused servicing portfolio.

The affirmation of the loan level special servicer rating reflects the shared staffing structure of Protective Life's special servicing group, the role experienced senior managers play in directing workouts, and the lack of technology to perform special servicing for a large volume of defaulted loans. The special servicing group has two senior managers who average 27 years of experience and act as the lead for most work outs and actively monitor the supporting staff.

Founded in 1907, Protective Life performs commercial mortgage servicing at its headquarters in Birmingham, AL. In support of its product offerings, the company uses a conservative investment strategy that includes commercial mortgage loan origination for retail, multifamily, office, and industrial properties.

Protective Life relies on a correspondent network for placing new originations and certain subservicing functions, resulting in a higher degree of primary servicing functions subserviced relative to other rated primary servicers. The company shadow services all aspects of loan administration for subserviced loans, which are handled internally in the same manner as directly serviced loans.

The company currently services 1,757 loans in its general account totaling $5.3 billion as of Dec. 31, 2015, as well as 157 CMBS loans totaling $359.1 million. Protective Life retained master, primary, and special servicing responsibilities for the CMBS loans during internal securitizations in 1996, 1997, and 2007. Protective Life currently has no plans to re-enter the CMBS market.

Additional information is available at 'www.fitchratings.com'.

Applicable Criteria

Rating Criteria for Structured Finance Servicers (pub. 23 Apr 2015)

https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=864375

Rating Criteria for U.S. Commercial Mortgage Servicers (pub. 14 Feb 2014)

https://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=735382

Additional Disclosures

Solicitation Status

https://www.fitchratings.com/gws/en/disclosure/solicitation?pr_id=1007793

Endorsement Policy

https://www.fitchratings.com/jsp/creditdesk/PolicyRegulation.faces?context=2&detail=31

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Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Primary Analyst
Andrew Foster
Director
+1-212-908-0714
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
33 Whitehall Street
New York, NY 10004
or
Secondary Analyst
James Bauer
Director
+1-212-908-0343
or
Committee Chairperson
Daniel Chambers
Managing Director
+1-212-908-0869
or
Media Relations:
Sandro Scenga, New York, +1 212-908-0278
Email: sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com

Contacts

Fitch Ratings
Primary Analyst
Andrew Foster
Director
+1-212-908-0714
Fitch Ratings, Inc.
33 Whitehall Street
New York, NY 10004
or
Secondary Analyst
James Bauer
Director
+1-212-908-0343
or
Committee Chairperson
Daniel Chambers
Managing Director
+1-212-908-0869
or
Media Relations:
Sandro Scenga, New York, +1 212-908-0278
Email: sandro.scenga@fitchratings.com